Tulane competes at Temple but falls on road again
Tulane competes, falls short on road again (Ken Trahan)
The effort was good. The opportunity was there. In the end, the better team won. It is a familiar theme on the road for Tulane football.
Favored Temple passed it well, forced turnovers and kicked it well in a 29-21 win at Lincoln Financial Field Saturday.
It was an uphill battle from the start as Temple scored off of an early Green Wave turnover and never trailed.
The Owls built leads of 13-0 and 22-7 and held off the Green Wave.
Tulane did have a shot late in the game, with the ball and a chance to tie, but could not get the job done.
The Green Wave rely on shortening the game with their excellent running game and limiting snaps for the opposition but in this game, Tulane barely won time of possession with 30:41 to just 29:19 for Temple. Each team had 22 first downs.
The conditions made it tough to throw the football and when going into the wind, it was extremely difficult.
Justin McMillan struggled throughout, though he did suffer a couple of drops. McMillan completed just 11-of-27 passes for 103 yards with an interception. He did rush 17 times for 64 yards but also lost a fumble. He was involved in jawing with Temple defenders all afternoon.
In fact, Tulane committed three turnovers and that is hard to overcome on the road as an underdog against a good team. The Green Wave could not do so. The turnover issue has really become a problem for McMillan and Tulane over the past several weeks now.
Tulane did rush for 203 yards but little or no passing game to compliment the run.
While conditions were tough to throw in, Anthony Russo and Todd Centeio calmed the winds, combining to complete 26-of-44 passes for 297 yards and three touchdowns with an interception. Tulane had no answer for Jadan Blue, who caught 12 passes for 131 yards and a score.
Will Mobley kicked three field goals for the Owls while Merek Glover had a field goal attempt missed when he kicked it very low, into his blockers. Glover did make all of his extra points to remain perfect on the season.
The Green Wave also had no answer for defensive end Quincy Roche, who had 12 tackles, including six tackles for loss and three sacks and lived in the backfield the entire game. It certainly would have been nice to see some double-team help on Roche, who had his way all day.
Jaylon Monroe had the interception for Tulane.
Temple overcame nine penalties for 106 yards.
Now 6-4 and 3-3 in the American Conference, Tulane will likely have to beat Central Florida next Saturday to secure a winning season as the final game of the regular season has Tulane at SMU, a superb team that will be solidly favored.
Tulane has proven that it can win at home and while UCF is a good team, the Green Wave have a shot to get the job done. What Tulane has not proven is that it can win on the road in conference play. That is the next step that must be taken in the progression of the program that Willie Fritz is building.
TEMPLE 29, TULANE 21 – POSTGAME NOTES (27,850 – Attendance)
• With the loss to Temple, the Green Wave moved to 6-4 on the year.
• Tulane dropped to 11-5 in its last 16 games dating back to last season.
• Tulane fell to 1-4 all-time against Temple.
• The Green Wave have dropped the last four meetings to Temple.
• The Green Wave were outgained by Temple 402-333.
• Team captains for today’s game were QB Justin McMillan, WR Darnell Mooney, LB Lawrence Graham, S PJ Hall, and DL De’Andre Williams.
• Junior DL Cameron Sample carried the New Orleans flag. Senior Geron Eatherly carried the American Athletic Conference Power 6 flag.
• Freshman OL Sincere Haynesworth carried the No. 18 flag in honor of Devon Walker.
• With the loss, head coach Willie Fritz fell to 215-99-1 all-time. Fritz owns a 41-25 mark in the month of November.
• The Green Wave offensive starters were QB Justin McMillan, RB Stephon Huderson, RB Amare Jones, TE Tyrick James, WR Darnell Mooney, WR Jalen McCleskey, OL Sincere Haynesworth, OL Keyshawn McLeod, OL Corey Dublin, OL Christian Montano and OL Joey Claybrook.
• Mooney made his 38th consecutive start, while Dublin made his 35th straight start.
• With its three rushing scores, Tulane now has 29 touchdowns on the ground this year, which is tied for third all-time in a single season.
• Tulane has now scored points in 32 of 39 quarters this season.
• Tulane finished the game with 203 rushing yards. The Green Wave have now surpassed 200 yards rushing in eight of their 10 games this season.
• The Green Wave have now surpassed 100 yards rushing in 50 straight games.
• McMillan dropped to 11-5 all-time as a starter.
• McMillan finished with a team-high 64 yards rushing.
• Redshirt freshman Cameron Carroll rushed for a single-game career high two touchdowns.
• Sophomore Tyrick James tied a career high with four receptions. His four receptions led the team.
• Mooney extended his consecutive catch streak to 29 games, as he hauled in three receptions for 38 yards.
• The Green Wave defensive starters were DL Patrick Johnson, DL De’Andre Williams, DL Cameron Sample, DL Michael Hinton, LB Lawrence Graham, LB Marvin Moody, CB Jaylon Monroe, S P.J. Hall, S Chase Kuerschen, and CB Thakarius Keyes.
• Junior cornerback Jaylon Monroe hauled in his second interception of the year.
• Tulane now has 13 turnovers gained this year (nine interceptions and four fumble recoveries).
• Senior PJ Hall led the Green Wave with nine tackles.
SPECIAL TEAMS NOTES
• Sophomore Amare Jones finished the game with 119 kickoff return yards. Jones finished the game with 156 all-purpose yards.
• Redshirt junior K Merek Glover connected on all three of his extra point tries. Glover is a perfect 42-of-42 in extra points this season.
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Born and raised in the New Orleans area, CCSE Owner and CEO Ken Trahan has been a sports media fixture in the community for nearly four decades. Ken started NewOrleans.com/Sports with Bill Hammack and Don Jones in 2008. In 2011, the site became SportsNOLA.com. On August 1, 2017, Ken helped launch CrescentCitySports.com. Having accumulated national awards/recognition (National Football Foundation, College…